LTE roll outs are gathering pace as devices come on stream and operators invest in VoIP and next generation IMS solutions.
According to new data from the Global mobile Suppliers Associations (GSA), there are now 202 commercially launched networks in 77 countries.
Ten operators have launched commercial LTE network services in the last eight weeks alone, the industry body reports.
Meanwhile, there are now 1,064 LTE mobile devices from 111 manufacturers on the market.
Since July 2012, 647 new LTE devices have been announced and there are now four times as many LTE-enabled smartphones available, as compared to July last year.
Most of the new LTE-enabled devices are designed to work primarily in the LTE-FDD mode, but over the last year, support for the LTE-TDD mode has more than tripled, enabling these handsets to support networks whereby operators are using unpaired spectrum.
When it comes to available terminals for TDD, Bands 38 and 40, or rather 2.6GHz and 2.3GHz respectively, offer the largest choice, but terminals are starting to be available in growing numbers on bands 39, 41, 42 and 43.
For LTE-FDD, the most popular bands currently are 2.6GHz, 1800 MHz and 800 MHz.
“The choice of multiband devices is continuously improving, enabling improved economies of scale and opportunities for international roaming for LTE-enabled services. More device manufacturers are entering the market,” said Alan Hadden, President of the GSA.
LTE is also having a positive effect on the carrier VoIP and IMS market, which has seen a 30 percent rise in growth in the second quarter to €701.8 million.
This increase is mainly due to increased spending on Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) capabilities to boost networks in North America, although the market has grown both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter in all regions.
“IMS equipment has officially moved into an LTE and voice-over-LTE world, and there’s no going back now,” said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research.
“In the second quarter we saw this impact spending on session border controllers and IMS core equipment for VoLTE access and interconnection (LTE to 3G) build outs.”
Alcatel-Lucent, BroadSoft, Genband, Huawei and Sonus are the five vendors currently leading the global carrier VoIP and IMS market, according to the research house.